Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The unexplained portrait sorcery

It always freaks me out when someone asks me "Can you do me a really big favor???" Because I feel like they are going to ask for a kidney or something.  however, usually, all they say is "Can you hand me that fork?"

I just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It was a really lovely book about a girl named Hazel Grace. I liked it because I expected it to be a cheesy "inspirational novel" but it was a very real story. Like it was written by a really real person. 

I think the best books, the ones that really inspire you, are the ones that did not set out to inspire you in the first place. They just tell their story and let you think whatever you want. The same goes for teachers, if a teacher's goal is to change your life, odds are that class will be useless and teach you nothing. 

Incidentally I also finished reading The Picture of Dorian Grey it was very deep and philosophical but I liked it anyways. Dorian Grey was a complete jerk but Lydia had read it before and told me he dies in the end, so I put up with all Dorian's moronic nonsense because I knew all that bad Karma was going to get him eventually. It is about a guy who stays young and handsome forever ( well it would have been forever except like I mentioned before, he kicks the bucket in the end ) while a painted portrait of himself ages. My favorite part is that Oscar Wilde never explains why or how this whole portrait sorcery madness happens, and Dorian just sort of rolls with it. 
I love that Wilde was confident enough to say: 

" Yeah the portrait is magic, and I don't really care how. Deal with it. The readers want an explaination?  Nah I'm way more interested in the questions the portrait raises about the deeper nature of man, so thats what I'm going to write about." 

He was also sassy enough to wear this coat------> 

This made me curious about Oscar Wilde because I knew nothing about him besides The Picture of Dorian Grey so I looked him up on "not a reliable source" wikipedia and here's what I learned: 

- He had lots of dead family members. No surprise there. It seems like everyone in the 1800's had at least a few.

- He wrote lots of plays

- The Picture of Dorian Grey was not well accepted when it was published, Victorian London hated it, and it is the only complete novel he wrote. 

- People love to quote him. He did say a lot of nice fluffy things that people will tattoo on themselves and kids will use as senior quotes, but I think the whole magic portrait thing says more about him than all that fluffy nonsense about "being yourself" ever will. 

- He had a legal case against him because it turns out he was gay, and then he died sad and alone. That depresses me, I wish the guy who was brave enough to write a novel with  an  unexplained  magic portrait could have had a happier life. I wish maybe he could have known that people still read his one novel and don't care that he didn't explain the whole portrait sorcery thing, and that hipsters walk around with things he said tattooed on their arms. I'm sure he'd have something very clever to say about it.